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Book suggests mental exercise keeps brain young

Les Frazier

By A Contributor

Author Michael Shermer, adjunct professor at Claremore University, says beliefs come before explanations. The brain is a belief engine using sensory data that flows in through the senses.

The brain looks for patterns, then meaning follows.  Once beliefs are formed, our brains seek out evidence to support them. This demonstrates that science is the best tool to determine whether our beliefs match reality.

I think the book makes a great contribution to knowing how beliefs are born, formed, changed, extinguished and how the process can be improved with the use of science.

One of the most common myths about aging is that memory inevitably declines. This is not necessarily true says Shermer.

“I am not old but older, rounding third base and heading for home. I try to keep my mind and body active by doing mental work often until ten at night. Exercise is my habit five days a week, working out on a machine as hard as I can for as long as I can.”

The writer says our memory behaves like our body. If you look after your body and nourish it, it remains resilient and strong instead of stagnant and weak.

Our memory can improve every day of our life. It is a network of interlinked images and data that can grow indefinitely as long as we continue to use it. The older we are, the greater our memory can become.

Many people think it is too late to improve mental performance because of past bad habits.

All we have to do to reverse these. The trend is to establish more positive patterns of connection in our brains. By increasing these we increase the probability that our minds and brain will get better.

This book is a manual for the creation of new more positive connections. Your brain is astonishingly adaptable and flexible.

You can reap many benefits from it. Scientific research has confirmed that you can improve your mind as you age.

It provides a way to “tune up” your brain and optimize mental performance. This easy to use audio program increases mental clarity, improves memory and allows us to enjoy many of the benefits that occur with long-term meditation.

These are used in hospitals and biofeedback clinics and by hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide. These materials can provide you with life changing practices we can use to unleash our brainpower and improve our mind as we age.

Service is one of the core principles in conquering aging; service to neighbors, community and country. Whether it’s saying kind words to a stranger, giving to charity or helping those in need, we can become enthusiastic, our eyes can light up as if we had found the greatest secret of all. Many think there is nothing more rewarding then giving.

The author writes about a veteran of WWII who is 90 years old.

“When he talks about giving, his eyes light up as if he had found the greatest secret of all” with enthusiasm, he says “The rewards you get back are so much greater than what you give.”

His mind is sharp and he excels at bridge and enjoys debates about politics and social issues. He remembers names, faces, dates and events easily. One thing he remembers from a memory course is to focus on a person like he or she was the most important individual in the entire world when they first meet.

Reading Shermer’s writings can activate unused areas of our brains, tone mental muscles and enliven all our facilities. We will be amazed to realize how quickly we can generate positive results.

Extensive research reveals that accumulated stress is the greatest cause of age related mental and physical deterioration. The download links to the book was designed to optimize mental performance. It can help produce states of deep calm and high coherence in the brain – the same coherence associated with great minds like Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Jefferson.

Is our potential limited by genetic predestinations?

Although genes play a role, scientists now agree we can change our habits and develop our minds throughout life.

Human beings, by changing the miner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.

Having a positive attitude can make far more difference than any gained from lowering blood pressure or reducing cholesterol according to one social psychologist.

In our culture we refer to older adults in derogatory terms as geezers and seniors.

In the Chinese culture, older adults are considered in terms of sages or the wise.

Ageing well is the supreme expression of wisdom. Aristotle said, “Education is the best provision of old age.” Morman Doidye, author, stated “stimulating the brain makes it grow in every conceivable way.” William James, psychologist, stated, “The minute a man ceases to grow, he begins to grow old.”

Les Frazier is emeritus professor at K-State and a former Manhattan resident.

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